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Senate seeks five years ban on importation of textile materials

The Senate on Tuesday has called on Federal Government to ban importation of textile materials for five years to revamp the comatose textile industry in…

The Senate on Tuesday has called on Federal Government to ban importation of textile materials for five years to revamp the comatose textile industry in Nigeria.

The call was made after a consideration of motion titled “Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose Textile industry” sponsored by Senator Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya (APC, Katsina Central).

The senate also, during the debate, appealed to the federal government to sustained border closure to a reasonable time to ensure value chain of cotton and garment productions in the country.

Debating the motion, Senator Kabir Barkiya, blamed power as the major cause of decline of the textile industry which, according to him, had played significant role in the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy with a record of over 140 companies in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

He said that government policies like increase in taxation, high cost of production, trade liberalisation that result in massive importation of textile materials had also negatively affected the production of local textile materials.

“The textile industry is the highest employer of labour apart from the civil service,” he observed.

He decried that the Textile industry had witnessed a massive decline in the last two decades with many textile companies such as Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile and Aba Textile among others closing shops and throwing their workers into the job market.

He urged the federal government to encourage local textile manufacturing companies by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry.

Barkiya noted that revamping the industry will provide huge employment opportunities for youths to reduce social vices in the country.

In his submission, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue North-east) corroborated that no industry will develop without stable power supply.

He called the federal government to take concrete actions on power and other infrastructures that would enhance the manufacturing sector of the country.

“Taking these actions, the welfare of people will be enhanced, insecurity and by extension criminality will be reduced,” he said.

Also commenting, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said that border closure and ban of textile materials will only be a temporary solution as far as revamping the industries is concern.

“We have to engage in serious discussions and deliberation with the Executive to find a lasting solution.

“As we are all aware, Nigeria had signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, so we have to be prepared for the repercussions. We cannot stop trading easily with other people,” he said.

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